Diffusion magnetic resonance tractography-based evaluation of commissural fiber abnormalities in a heparan sulfate endosulfatase-deficient mouse brain

Yusuke Tsuji, Aurelien Kerever, Toshiki Furukawa, Koji Kamagata, Yuya Saito, Shigeki Aoki, Junichi Hata, Hideyuki Okano, Kenta Kobayashi, Takuya Okada, Ken Miya, Kazuko Keino-Masu, Masayuki Masu, Eri Arikawa-Hirasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During brain development, neural circuits are formed through cellular differentiation, cell migration, axon guidance, and synaptogenic processes by the coordinated actions of many genes. Abnormalities in neural development, especially connectivity defects, can result in psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism. Recent advances in diffusion tensor imaging have enabled us to examine the brain's macroscopic nerve trajectories. In this study, we investigated the abnormalities of the commissural fibers that connect the left and right cerebral hemispheres in mice lacking heparan sulfate 6-O endosulfatases, Sulf1 and Sulf2 (Sulf1/2), which are extracellular enzymes that remove 6-O sulfate from heparan sulfate and thereby modulate the function of axon guidance factors. We previously demonstrated that Sulf1/2 double knockout (DKO) mouse embryos harbored defects in their corticospinal tract and that some of these DKO mice experienced corpus callosum agenesis. However, abnormalities of the commissural fibers in the adult DKO brain have not been systematically assessed. In this study, we investigated commissural fiber abnormalities in these mice by the combined use of radiological and histological analyses. First, we acquired diffusion-weighted images and three-dimensional-T2 weighted images of adult brains using a 9.4 T animal magnetic resonance imaging system and found that Sulf1/2 DKO mice had a smaller corpus callosum and dorsal hippocampal commissure. Next, we performed myelin staining and anterograde tracing, revealing that the dorsal hippocampal commissure was elongated in a rostral direction. These results suggest that Sulf1/2 play an important role in the formation of commissural tracts and that diffusion tensor imaging associated with microscopic analysis is a powerful tool to clarify nerve tract abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Commissural fibers
  • Endosulfatase
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Knockout mouse
  • Sulf1/2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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